This very unusual surname has almost as unusual an origin. It is locational and derives from the Olde English of the pre 7th century. It describes a person from various places called 'Wincot or Winnicott'. The precise meaning is probably 'the cottage on the grasslands' from 'wyn-cott', with 'wyn' meaning 'grasslands'. 'Wyn-cott' could also apply to a cottage in a 'windy' spot. The first recording as shown below shows a development from 'Wynegod' which is a misspelling, through Wincote, Wincete, to the present Winket(t). This type of locational surname was usually given to somebody who left their place of origin, as a means of identity. Spelling being at best rudimentary, and the original village having often been literally 'cleared' off the face of the earth, it was hardly surprising that 'variant' spellings developed. In this case 'Winkett' has an epi-centre in Warwickshire, where it has been recorded since at least the begining of the 19th century. Examples of the surname recording include Charles Wincote of Warwickshire, in the register of Oxford University for the year 1585, Mary Wincete who married John Hawkins at Kenilworth, on June 20th 1740, and William Winkett, the son of William and Sarah, christened at Whatcote, Warwickshire, on February 22nd 1808. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Wynegod, which was dated 1273, the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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